Common Car Questions Answered (part 2)

With the average vehicle having roughly 30,000 parts, it’s no surprise that this complex machine we use daily can still manage to overwhelm or confuse the average car owner & leave them with many questions. There is still a lot of assumed general knowledge regarding vehicles, however, there may be some things you just never learned & perhaps have been too self-conscious to ask. We answered 11 of your most common car questions in part one & now we’ve compiled even more below!

What exactly is involved in a service?

First up when you bring your car in for a service we;

  1. Road test: We take your vehicle on a road test & listen for any unusual noises, observe whether the vehicle is steering straight or if there is any steering wander, if there are any vibrations or brake shudder, & determine the overall engine performance.
  2. Safety check: Back at the workshop we test your vehicle’s safety features. These include checking all lights, wipers, washer jets, the horn & the handbrake.
  3. Battery load test is performed, battery terminals are inspected & we replace the lube sticker.
  4. Visual inspection: We carry out a visual inspection of the engine bay, air filter, drive belt, cooling system & spark plugs. We then test the brake fluid for moisture levels.
  5. Place the vehicle on the Hoist: We raise your vehicle halfway up the hoist & check the steering system, inspect for movement in rack ends, inspect suspension components, look for movement in ball joints, examine wheel bearings, inspect tyre condition (check tread wear & look for any bulges or cracks etc). We then remove the wheels, & inspect brakes, brake hoses & shock absorbers.
  6. Raise the hoist all the way up:  We inspect the undercarriage of the vehicle, the suspension, drive train & exhaust system.
  7. Drain engine oil: We drain the engine oil, replace the sump plug washer & replace the oil filter.
  8. Lower vehicle: Once the vehicle is lowered, we replace the engine oil, adjust all fluid levels under the bonnet (including the power steering fluid, brake fluid, coolant level & windscreen washer fluid). Next, we re-fit wheels & torque the wheel nuts.
  9. Final test drive: Lastly, we take the vehicle for another test drive, to ensure it is running smoothly & safely.

Approximately halfway through the service, we give you a call to let you know when your vehicle will be ready. We inform you if any additional work is required & ask you if you wish for us to go ahead.

What is a transmission service?

The transmission is one of the most important components of a vehicle. In simple terms; it’s what moves the power from the engine to the wheels. Like any other part of your vehicle, it requires regular maintenance in order to keep it working & running smoothly.

A transmission service will differ slightly according to the type of vehicle & transmission. But basically, the main purpose of a transmission service is to flush out the old transmission fluid & replace it with new fluid, as well as new filters. We recommend having it serviced approximately every 50,000km-100,000km or 1-2 years, (depending on vehicle) although this should be more of a guide.

What is the difference between engine oils?

The purpose of motor/ engine oils are to lubricate your engine & reduce the friction between the moving parts, therefore protecting & minimising wear of the components. It also cleans by preventing the build-up of sludge & removing contaminants. Another critical job of engine oil is to help to cool the engine by absorbing & transferring heat as it is pumped around the motor, where it is then cooled in the engine sump, before re-circulating again. The main types of oils are;

  • Mineral oil is your basic engine oil; it’s manufactured & different processes refine it in a factory and adjust the viscosity (thickness).
  • Full-Synthetic Oil is entirely man-made, manufactured in a factory, & is an extremely consistent, refined & quality product. It is a more expensive product than mineral oil, but ultimately a superior option for your engine performance.
  • Synthetic Blend Oils are a combination of both synthetic and mineral oils. They are a mid-range oil; not as beneficial as a full-synthetic oil, but better performing than a natural mineral oil.

What should I do if I get a tyre puncture?

If you’re driving & you get a tyre puncture; it may become deflated & lose air pressure. This is what you may refer to as a ‘flat tyre’. If this happens:

  • Do not drive on the tyre if the puncture is causing the tyre to lose air pressure. Flat tyres that are driven on for even a short period of time can be damaged beyond repair.
  • Remove the punctured tyre & replace with the spare tyre. Be sure that the spare is properly inflated & adheres to Australian Roadworthy Standards.
  • Once the spare has enabled you to drive home or to your local mechanic, ensure you have your punctured tyre repaired or replaced as soon as possible. The spare is not designed to be used as you would a regular tyre & you do not want to be left without a spare in the event of a flat tyre.
  • Call Burleigh’s Mobile Mechanic for a tyre inspection & repair, or for roadside assistance if you are unable to change the tyre yourself.

Service You Can Trust

At Burleigh’s Mobile Mechanic we aim to educate you about all aspects of your vehicle. If you have any vehicle issues or any car questions, we are here to help!

Give one of our friendly team a call on 0412 161 776 & remember to follow us on Facebook for more information, tips and specials.